Former Alice Ducati MotoGP rider Sylvain Guintoli has refused to blame the Italian factory for his tough 2008 season, and credits Ducati's 2007 world champion Casey Stoner for his success with the Desmosedici.
Guintoli, who will move to BSB next season, took a best finish of sixth on his way to 13th in the 2008 MotoGP World Championship - his second year in the premier grand prix class - while factory star Stoner claimed six wins, eleven podiums, nine poles and nine fastest laps on his way to second position.
But Sylvain was far from the only rider to struggle with the GP8 - Stoner's factory team-mate Marco Melandri took a best finish of just fifth and was only 17th in the championship.
Guintoli's team-mate Toni Elias was the only other Ducati rider to finish on the podium this season, twice, but the Spaniard's next best result outside of that was only seventh. Previously, during Stoner's title winning season, MotoGP veterans Loris Capirossi and Alex Barros had also failed to replicate the young Australian's excellent results.
Elias recently criticised the level of support from Ducati this year, but - during a special Q&A with Crash.net
viewers - Guintoli flatly refused to blame the Italian factory and gave Stoner credit for understanding 'something about his bike that lots of riders can't'.
"Everyone in MotoGP relies a lot on electronics," said Guintoli, in answer to a question about the amount of electronics used by Stoner. "Casey is fast first because he is very talented and second because he obviously understood something about his bike that lots of other riders can't (me included!). More traction control doesn't make faster lap times; it's all a question of balance and confidence of the rider."
Looking at his own future Guintoli, who doesn't believe "anyone is gifted a GP ride without being worthy of it", insists that his switch to BSB will make him stronger.
"BSB is a very strong championship, and so I believe that should I go to WSBK or back to GP in the future, I will be a stronger rider because of my BSB experience," said Sylvain, who will ride for 2004 BSB champion's Crescent Suzuki.
As well as two seasons in MotoGP, Guintoli also spent five years in the 250cc World Championship, taking a best championship placing of ninth (2006) and a best race finish of third (2003).
The 250cc two-stroke class will be replaced by 600cc four-stroke machines from 2011, something Guintoli thinks is a good move.
"It's a good change. Different constructors will take part and I think 'Junior Teams' will start to appear," he said.
On the question of how MotoGP could be made more exciting, Guintoli stated that "the [single] tyre rule might help."